Press Release from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
April 16, 2009
Contact: Jody Withers
(512) 463-0130

Senate Passes Bill by Estes to Exempt VFD from Fuels Taxes

Austin — The Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 254 by State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) which would exempt local volunteer fire departments from state taxes on motor fuels.

"Our volunteer fire departments are on the front lines fighting to save our lives and our property," said Estes. "When volunteer fire departments depend on bake sales to fund their operations, we need to be a partner in making those funds go as far as possible."

Senate Bill 254 amends the state tax code to exempt volunteer fire departments from the motor fuels taxes including both gasoline and diesel fuels. The bill also would allow an eligible volunteer fire department that had paid the motor fuel tax on the purchase of gasoline or diesel fuel to file a claim with the Comptroller for a refund of the tax.

There are about 1,491 volunteer fire departments across the state and 263 part-time pay departments.

"The recent fires that have devastated so many acres and touched so many lives are a stark reminder of how much we rely on our volunteer fire departments," said Estes. "We can never adequately say thank you for the job they do, but we can help them keep more of their limited resources they have to do their job."

Senator Estes is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and represents Senate District 30 covering Archer, Baylor, Clay, Collin (part), Cooke, Denton (part), Grayson, Jack, Montague, Parker, Palo Pinto, Shackelford, Stephens, Throckmorton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Wise, and Young counties.

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